Category Archives: News

Oregon Lottery Offering Sports Betting by September

In a move that is as similar as it is dissimilar to others around the country, Oregon has moved to offer sports betting via a mobile application in time for the upcoming NFL season. The reason we use the word “offer” rather than “legalize” is due to the fact that sports betting was never truly illegal in Oregon. When the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 was passed and ultimately banned sports betting in all of the country, a few exceptions were made. Oregon was on the small list of exceptions, so when PASPA was overturned in 2018, sports betting was officially legal.

Thanks to all of this, the matter of whether to offer sports betting in Oregon came down to a decision by the lottery commission. There is a bit more to the story than this, but the end result is that Oregon will be the first Northwest state that has given sports betting the green light. 

No Vote, but Opponents Abound

Even though this story seems like one of a simple, cut and dry decision on the part of the Oregon Lottery, happenings on the US sports betting scene rarely go over so smoothly. The first level of opposition came in the form of a few senators who attempted to amend a separate bill in a way that would disallow the lottery from offering any games “via the internet” or “via mobile devices.” Fortunately, this movement did not gain much traction and the amendment was eventually done away with.

Sports Betting Operator’s Integrity Questioned

Another interesting facet of this story took place in the wake of the Oregon Lottery Commission’s decision to award the sole mobile operator license to a firm known as SBTech. On its face, this seems like a relatively fitting choice seeing as SBTech already operates in a few other US states and has a longstanding reputation with brands in Europe and elsewhere around the world. In reality, there quickly arose questions about the operator’s integrity as it relates to operating in jurisdictions where sports betting is illegal

Unsurprisingly enough, these questions arose directly from the firm that finished second place in the Oregon Lottery’s Request for Proposal, Scientific Games. In a public letter, Scientific Games accused SBTech of being affiliated with a site—10Bet—that was supposedly operating illegally in Belgium. This event ended up being more of a flash in the pan than anything else as it also gained little traction. SBTech was quick to deny the accusations, and the Oregon Lottery’s chief gaming officer, Farshad Allahdadi, came out in support of the brand. Considering that SBTech passed all of the background checks levied against it by the Oregon Lottery Commission, it seems safe to say that they are a trustworthy operator. After all, they already operate in both Mississippi and Atlantic City.


While sports betting will be offered via a mobile platform supported by SBTech, it will exist in somewhat different fashion from what we see elsewhere around the country. During the initial stages of Oregon sports betting, bettors will only be able to place wagers on professional sporting events. This means that “amateur” athletics, such as NCAA football and basketball, will be excluded from offer. The movers and shakers of the Oregon Lottery Commission have made it clear that the option is on the table for the future, but have chosen to stay away from now.

If mobile sports betting is set to be on offer by September, the estimation is that betting kiosks will be available shortly after 2020 begins. Betting kiosks will be located at most locations that currently offer lottery tickets (such as gas stations), but they will eventually be placed elsewhere, in restaurants and bars.

Maine Passes Landmark Sports Betting Legislation

In the world of US casinos and gambling in general, the state of Maine does not typically make many headlines. After all, there are only a handful of casinos, even fewer off-track betting facilities, and the state, as a whole, has a fairly small, sparse population. Despite all of this, a piece of legislation that just recently unanimously passed through the House of Representatives is being heralded as one of the best sports betting bills in the country.

After first narrowly passing through Maine’s House of Representatives by a vote of 19-15, the House went on to pass the bill, known as LD 553, without a single objection. Democratic Governor Janet Mills still needs to apply her signature to the 23-page document, but that seems like a foregone conclusion as it currently stands. Proponents of legal sports betting are pointing to Maine as having potentially set the standard for other pieces of sports betting legislation that are currently being drafted across the country.

What Makes Maine so Special?

Something that you will hear a lot when discussing LD 553 is the phrase “open market.” The reason for this is due to the fact that Maine is creating an even playing field for potential sports betting licensees. Unlike other states that put a cap on the number of licenses and/or restrict licensees to only preexistent casinos and other gambling facilities, Maine has not set any limits on the number of licenses that can be dealt and are further not requiring any operators to be from the state of Maine in any sense of the word. 

Something else that makes this development in Maine so significant is that there are two different—yet favorable—tax rates for brick and mortar and mobile operators. For brick and mortar sports betting facilities, sports betting revenue will be taxed at a low rate of 10%. Mobile operators will see sports betting revenue taxed at 16%. 

A point of contention during the formation of this piece of legislation was with regard to the eligibility of mobile operators. There was a contingent of lawmakers who felt that mobile operators should be “tethered” to an entity that already existed in Maine. In other words, there was hope that mobile operators be tied to a casino or off-track betting facility as a means of keeping things within the state, so to speak. While that is a good idea, the “open market” idea won out and operators do not have to be tied to any single gambling facility. In fact, the bill itself specifically states that gaming operators that already exist in other states will be qualified to apply for a license to operate within the state. The logic behind this is that operators from other states already know the ins and outs of the industry and will be better equipped to offer a top-notch sports betting platform right from the offing. 

Mobile betting was a major part of this bill and was included from the beginning, which is something we did not see in many other states. 

Who Can Bet, and When?

The timeline as it relates to when bets will actually be placed is something that is still quite vague. First, the governor needs to sign the bill to officially enact it as law. After that, the body tasked with overseeing the sports betting industry—The Department of Public Safety’s Gambling Control Unit—will need to determine what licenses are given out. After prospective licensees pay their $20,000 application fee, there is no set timeline for when the Gambling Control Unit will determine whether or not a license is given. 

Conservative estimates do not think that we will see sports betting in Maine until 2020, however there is some confidence that we will see bets being placed in time for the NFL season this fall. 

Those who are able to place bets both in person and online must be at least 21 years old. At this point, there is no official language as to how one will have to prove that they are of age to place mobile bets. As is the case in most other states, it is widely believed that one will have to prove their age at a physical gambling destination before they can place mobile wagers. 

All things considered, things are happening in a hurry in New England. After all, Maine’s neighbor, New Hampshire, also moved to legalize sports betting just a week or so ago. The dominoes continue to fall and now, more than 20% of the total United States 21+ population has access to legal, regulated sports betting.

Illinois Expanding Gambling Industry by Considerable Margins

Illinois is a lot like other states in the country in that it recently moved to legalize sports betting. It is different than other states, however, in that its gambling expansion bill came with a lot more than just that. In addition to the state officially allowing its casinos to offer sports betting, the 816-page bill also sets forth the establishment of six new casinos, one of which will be located in Chicago. On top of all of this, the quantity of video gaming terminals allowed to be at bars and truck stops is going to nearly double.

When you consider all of the changes imminently going to hit Illinois’ gambling industry, it becomes immediately apparent that Illinois is the Midwestern gambling capital in the making. While this is music to the ears of gamblers and lawmakers, not everyone is happy about how drastic the gambling environment of the state is being altered.

A Quick, Massive Rollout of Changes

As mentioned above, the new law will not only pave the way for six new casino licenses, but will also allow currently existing casinos to expand their footprint. According to the law, the state’s 10 already standing casinos are able to expand their offering of slots and table games by roughly 70% when all is said and done. What’s more, the state’s three struggling horse tracks will all be allowed to virtually transform themselves into full-fledged casinos. Now, the tracks can offer slots and table games.

Perhaps the most noticeable change people will see comes with the aforementioned casino that will be erected in the Chicago area. The entity that is granted this license will also be granted the ability to station slots and other video games within the confines of O’Hare and Midway airports. This is such a big deal because there is only one other part of the US where gambling takes place in airports, and that is in Las Vegas. Understanding just this much will help you understand why many people believe Illinois is going to quickly become one of the premier gambling destinations of the United States, behind places like Nevada and New Jersey.

For those who have vested interest in the state’s gambling industry, as well as gamblers in general, the passing of this massive bill is being seen as a major victory. As these things typically go, however, not everyone is satisfied with how quickly nor how easily this bill was passed. Luckily for them, the bill does not solely focus on the positives an expanded gambling industry will bring to the state.

Problem Gambling to be Studied as Part of the Bill

For those who are on the front lines of combating problem gambling in Illinois, the expansion of the gambling industry is something that brings with it mixed emotions. On one hand, there is some disappointment with regard to just how easily accessed gambling will be, but on the other hand researchers are finally going to be able to study just how many people in the state are problem gamblers. The reason for this is due to the fact that the recently passed bill also sets forth a study into problem gambling and how it can be addressed going forward.

Opponents have gotten angry in the wake of this bill’s passing, but it is clear that their anger is mostly in vain as Illinois’ Governor JB Pritzker has spoken in support of gambling on more than one occasion. Being that Illinois is one of the worst-performing states from an economic perspective, this move is one that makes a lot of sense. With that said, Pritzker is not moving forward on expanding gambling in Illinois without regard for the potential problems that can arise. In addition to the bill mandating that a study into problem gambling be conducted, the first-term governor also outlined nearly $7 million that will go directly to supporting those who identify as being problem gamblers. The hope is that, with time, problem gambling in Illinois can be identified before it is too late.

There is no timeline surrounding when the Chicago casino will be built, but after hearing about projected revenues the site might bring in, the belief is that very little time will be wasted.

Tennessee Legalizes Online-Only Sports Betting

Though there were other states considered to be front-runners, Tennessee has legalized sports betting, albeit in unusual fashion. SB 16 passed through the Tennessee Senate, and will become law July 1 st , even without the governor’s signature. Tennessee’s governor, Bill Lee, has always opposed gambling but his spokesperson confirmed that he will not veto the bill. There was a good bit of opposition from both sides of the aisle, primarily because sports betting will take place solely online. At this current juncture, almost every form of gambling is illegal in Tennessee. By virtue of that, this decision could not come as more of a surprise to some.

Even stranger is that, of the few states that have legal sports betting, Tennessee will only facilitate betting online. There is virtually zero gambling/casino infrastructure in the state, so the only viable way
to make sports betting attractive from a tax revenue perspective is to offer sports betting in, quite literally, every inch of Tennessee land.

How It Happened

SB 16 was the brainchild of two Senators from different parts of the state and from across the aisle. Steve Dicerson, a Republican from Nashville, teamed up with Rick Staples, a Democrat from Knoxville, and introduced the bill that did not pass with any sort of ease. In the Tennessee House of Representatives, the bill passed by a vote of 58-37, while the Senate vote was even tighter, at 19-12.

There was a lot of debate—perhaps even more than we have seen in other states—because the bill was exclusively for online sports betting. The main point from opponents was that the fact that mobile betting can take place from literally anywhere, gambling addictions will be created and exacerbated more easily than they are in states where one has to travel to a physical location in order to place wagers. Despite this opposition, the estimates of more than $50 million in tax revenue seemed to be more than enough to convince most Representatives and Senators to vote in favor of the bill.

As it stands, online sports bets can begin being placed in Tennessee on July 1st . You must be 21 in order to place wagers, however there is not much known at this time how that age requirement is going to be enforced.

Competing Against No One

This bill might have seemed a bit rushed, and part of that was by design. Tennessee has only one neighbor (Mississippi) that has legalized sports betting, so the thought is that a lot of out of state money might come into play, further boosting projected tax revenues. This means that, of the 8 states that directly border Tennessee, 7 of them are without legal sports betting options.

It may come off as a bit far-fetched to expect people to drive across state lines simply to place sports bets, but it may very well influence a sports bettor who is deciding between, for example, a trip to Nashville or a trip to Atlanta, where sports betting is not legal. At the end of the day, any tax revenue created from out of state bettors is more than what is currently being banked, and that alone is a major part of the reason Senators and Representatives voted in favor of the bill.

What’s more, tax revenue from the legalization of sports betting will be set aside for the state’s education system, which is amongst the worst in the country.

The legalization of sports betting is a trend that seems to be catching on in every state. Not only are there no less than 10 other states considering making the move, Indiana, just this week, also legalized sports betting.

New Jersey Sports Betting Championship Ends in Controversy

The New Jersey DraftKings Sports Betting National Championship was meant to be a celebration. It was a time to toast the future of sports betting. The sports betting championship was a historical event, the first of its kind to take place after the Supreme Court ruling in May ending the federal ban on sports betting. And the first-ever winner of the historical DraftKings Championship was Randy Lee – a New Jersey poker dealer – who took home the winnings in his bankroll, plus an additional $1 million first place prize.

Winning over $1 million is a reason to celebrate, to say the least. But rather than ending in the clinking of champagne glasses, the Championship ended in frustration. Professional sports bettors and other participants cried foul after an early Championship leader was unable to place his final wager before the kickoff of the NFC divisional-round game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New Orleans Saints.

The DraftKings Sports Betting Championship

The DraftKings Sports Betting Championship was a unique event in the gaming world, as the Championship took place entirely on the DraftKings Sportsbook’s mobile app. Championship required bettors using the app to be physically present in the State of New Jersey. The contested featured a $2.5 million prize pool, with a $10,000 buy in.

At first, the event looked like a success. More than 200 bettors from all across the nation traveled to the New Jersey DraftKings Sportsbook to pay their $10k buy in and enter into the 3-day contest. Things were moving along smoothly on both Friday and Saturday of the competition. Betters were allowed to bet on pretty much anything they wanted, with the exception of the last day of the competition. On Sunday, gamblers could only bet on the two NFL playoff games. And since the DraftKings Sportsbook was scheduled to stop accepting wagers after the start of the second game, plenty of participants were confused by the event.

Sports Betting Competition Closes in Controversy

It wasn’t the bets that were placed that lead to the notion of foul play at the DraftKings Championship, but rather those that were prevented from being placed.

Professional sports bettor Rufus Peabody was in the lead on the third day of the Championship. Things were looking good for the professional sports bettor, as he was on a winning streak. Peabody was in pole position heading into the final bet of the contest, and was weighing his options to place an all-in wager on the last play of the night. It looked like he was set to win. But his chances were squashed when the first game ended at 4:37pm, just minutes before the Eagles-Saints game. Under normal circumstances, a few minutes would be plenty of time to place a quick wager. However, the Championship leaders account never updated with the latest funds before the start of the second game.

As a result of the wager cutoff, Peabody was prevented from placing a wager on the final play. Peabody’s 50/50 chance at the $1 million payoff was crushed, pushing the professional sports bettor to publicize his experience by tweeting a picture of his account balance right before the second game commenced.

To make matters worse, apparently Peabody wasn’t the only gambler to be excluded from placing a wager on the second game. According to Peabody’s Twitter accounts, at least three other top-seven finishers were unable to place wagers before the Eagles-Saints game due to the same problem. All in all, the issue cast a dark shadow over an otherwise incredible win. Hopefully, the DraftKings event will serve as a warning to other organizations looking to cash-in on organized sports betting events: make it fun, and make it fair.

Pennsylvania Casinos See Plenty of Action Heading into NFL Playoffs

Written By: Kayla Sherrell

After the Supreme Court ended the federal ban on sports betting last year, Pennsylvania did not dawdle in bringing legalized sports betting to the state. Legalized sports betting creates an exciting atmosphere amongst sports fans and professional sports teams in Pennsylvania, which serves to heighten the experience for players, casinos, and football fans. This is particularly true with NFL playoffs already underway.

Pennsylvanians Spend the Playoffs in Casino Sportsbooks

Pennsylvanians are well-known for their enthusiasm over professional sports. They’ve been more amped than ever to kick off the 2019 NFL playoff season, and with sports betting recently legalized in the Commonwealth, sports fans have more reason than ever to tune in.

This year’s NFL playoff season marked the first time Pennsylvania football fans were allowed to wager on their favorite NFL sports teams in legal sportsbooks within the state. The commencement of this year’s NFL playoffs made history, as football fans lined up in casino sports books throughout Pennsylvania to place wagers on sports teams. And of course, plenty of Pennsylvania’s casinos are cashing in on the action.

SugarHouse Casino sportsbook’s debut was a good example of how legalized sports betting will operate alongside the 2019 NFL playoff season. SugarHouse Casino brought a whole new experience to Pennsylvania football fans. Sugarhouse set up its sportsbook with luxury seating, table-side service, and HD flat screens. Football fans can the luxuries provided by SugarHouse sportsbook while placing wagers on their favorite football teams. This super-luxe experience is sure to attract plenty of new fans to the ever-popular NFL franchise.

Sports Betting in Pennsylvania: Only the Beginning

Pennsylvanians have always been big sports enthusiasts, so it wasn’t surprising when the state launched legal sports betting last November. Since this time, Pennsylvania’s casinos have taken the opportunity to begin implementing their own sportsbooks. This is true for four casinos in particular that are currently accepting sports bets: Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, Rivers Casino, SugarHouse Casino, and – most recently – Parx Casino. And there’s no two ways about it: Pennsylvania’s sports fans are loving it.

The first NFL playoff sports wagering event Parx Casino’s temporary sportsbook began accepting wagers right in the nick of time to take advantage of the surge in business coming from the NFL playoffs. Other sports books are expected to follow suit in the coming months, and the landscape of Pennsylvania sports betting has only just begun to take shape. The recreation has already created numerous opportunities for sports teams, fans, and casinos, alike. As many other territories are expected to follow Pennsylvania’s lead in the new year, we’re sure to see more jurisdictions legalizing sports wagering and capitalizing on the tax revenue.

Colorado Joins the Race to Legalize Sports Betting

Written By: Kayla Sherrell

The race to legalize sports betting is on. After states like Delaware and Pennsylvania experienced early success, other jurisdictions – including Colorado – are looking to join the second wave of states to legalize gambling on professional sports. Whether legal sportsbooks are coming to Colorado is far from certain, but state officials appear to be approaching the concept with a rational and open mind.

Colorado State Attorney General Looks to Expedite Sports Betting Laws

Until recently, legal experts believed that Colorado’s state constitution would need to be revised in order for sports betting to be legalized. On August 2nd of last year, however, Colorado’s State Attorney General’s Office released an official statement. The statement explained how the legalization of sports betting could be accomplished using a statue rather than a constitutional amendment. This would expedite the legalization process for Colorado gambling enthusiasts, as passing a statue is far quicker and easier than amending a constitution.

Colorado’s decision to start planning the implementation of legal sports betting is a good policy, as states that have gone ahead to legalize gambling on professional sports are raking in dough hand-over-fist. An economics study held by Oxford University estimated that legalized sports betting in Colorado could earn over $300 million in revenue for the state each year. The Colorado Department of Revenue has already started preparing for the arrival of sports betting, and they’re practically counting the gaming-related tax revenues already.

Colorado Legislators Advocate for Sports Betting

Colorado lawmakers are fighting to see sports gambling legalized throughout the state in 2019. State Representatives Cole Wist and Alec Garnet have advocated for the legalization of sportsbooks, arguing that that the payout for legalizing an American pastime that currently takes place illegally behind closed doors is well worth the political risk they may suffer for supporting the concept. And fortunately for Representatives Wist and Garnet, they’re not alone.

Colorado state legislators from both parties have continued to advocate for sports betting to become a legal recreation in the state. However, regardless of this enthusiasm, the legislature is committed to considering voter opinions about finding the best approach to legalization of sports gambling.

Colorado Takes a Cautious Approach

Legalized gambling has been put before Colorado voters multiple times. But, the past eight attempts at legalizing sports betting in Colorado have been all but squashed by the democratic process. Whether advocates in the legislature will be able to convince voters of the potential benefits of sports betting remains to be seen. However, even with voter resistance to legalized sports betting, policymakers are starting to sketch out the details of what sports betting will look like in Colorado’s future.

The Department of Revenue has come to the conclusion that it makes more sense to profit from and regulate sports betting, rather than let it continue on the black market uncontested. And, if the state’s progressive stance on the legalization and taxation of other formerly black-market activities – namely, the legal marijuana industry – serves as a sign of what’s to come, we’re sure to see creative and solution-oriented sports betting laws out of Colorado very soon.

Washington DC Becomes Latest Jurisdiction to Legalize Sports Betting

Written By: Kayla Sherrell

Lawmakers in Washington D.C. are used to making history, and on December 18th they did it again by making the nation’s capital the first U.S. jurisdiction without preexisting casinos to authorize sports books. The D.C. Council voted 11-2 to authorize gambling on professional sports through mobile apps and at the city’s sports arenas, stadiums, restaurants, liquor stores, and other private businesses.

D.C. Looks to Cash In on Sports Betting

This past summer, the Supreme Court overturned the federal law prohibiting sports betting outside Nevada. In doing so, the Supreme Court has opened up new avenues for lawmakers and state officials across the nation. As of the time of writing, state and local legislators are scratching their heads, working hard to find new sources of tax revenue from legalized sports betting for to fund critical public projects and constituent communities.

D.C. is looking to cash in on the revenue created by legalized sports betting. The local Office of the Chief Financial Officer estimated that legal sports betting should bring in upwards of $92 million in tax revenue for city coffers over the next four years if operations are taxed at a 10 percent tax bracket. The majority of that tax revenue will likely go to the general fund. However, the bill reserves annually $200,000 for gambling addiction treatment and $1 million for violence prevention and early-childhood care.

Without Casino Gaming, DC’s Lottery Oversees Sports Betting

Washington D.C. does not allow casino gaming, which means it does not have gaming regulations or a commission to enforce them. To ensure that sports betting will be regulated properly in the jurisdiction, however, the new regulate-and-tax wagering policy will be overseen by the D.C. Lottery. Soon, the Lottery will start selling licenses to sports books at D.C.’s stadiums and arenas.

Licenses will be offered for terms of two and five years; a five year license will cost sports books about $250,000, and a two year license will run around $5,000. Currently there is no limit on the number of licenses a sportsbook may purchase. Gamers can place wagers at private businesses and establishments as well as through a mobile application, so there will be plenty of options for D.C.’s gamers. The D.C Lottery will have exclusive rights to operate the mobile betting app available to D.C. residents, which is expected to be the most popular source of sports wagering.

D.C. Joins Growing Number of Pro-Gaming Jurisdictions

Sports betting may have been prohibited by federal law, but by no means did this mean such wagers were uncommon. Sports betting enthusiasts have long advocated for legalization, since people in the U.S. already participate in gambling and wagering on sports and will probably continue to do so whether the recreation is legal or not. Therefore, government officials are looking at the end of the federal prohibition on sports betting as a new opportunity. After all, they may as well tax and regulate the realm of professional sports gambling so that communities could benefit from the extra tax revenue brought in by an activity that is finally rising up from the underground.

Washington D.C. has become the latest jurisdiction to create a legal structure for the regulation and taxation of sports wagering, but it’s certainly not going to be the last. As regulated sports wagering continues to grow across the country, gaming enthusiasts are sure to see new opportunities for wagering every day.

New William Hill Betting Lounge Comes to Prudential Center in Newark

Written By: Kayla Sherrell

Ever since sports betting was legalized in the Garden State, the sports gambling market in New Jersey has been on the rise. Resident gamblers have already shown their support by placing around $1 billion dollars in bets at local casinos and race tracks in just the past 6 months. This has raised approximately $8 million in tax revenue for the New Jersey treasury, and returns are only expected to only go up from there.

Sports betting in New Jersey is booming, and both investors and officials are moving in on this lucrative new industry. Casinos and state officials alike are looking to integrate betting facilities into more sports-related establishments than ever before. And, due to the enthusiasm of New Jersey’s residents over legalized gambling, Garden State hockey fans will soon see a new sports betting lounge in Newark’s Prudential Center.

Devils Fans Get a New Betting Lounge

To the excitement of New Jersey Devils fans, the Prudential Center in Newark recently added the new William Hill Sports Lounge to its facility. The lounge will allow sports fans to make wagers in a comfortable environment with top-of-the-line facilities. And to the thrill of New Jersey gamblers, it’s being run by one of the top sports bookmakers in the country.

William Hill and Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment recently signed a multi-year partnership with the owners of the New Jersey Devils professional hockey team. The deal, which was signed in October, will gave the bookmaker a physical presence at the Prudential Center. The William Hill Sports Lounge opened on December 14, and it’s already providing amenities to local sports betters. The agreement also gives the bookmaker rights over some digital and radio broadcasts on the Devils Hockey Network, the Devils’ digital and social media channels, and the Prudential Center’s exterior marquee LED billboard.

William Hill Sports Lounge Makes Its Debut

The William Hill Sports Lounge opened up to take bets the moment the Devils stepped onto the ice on December 14. The lounge’s debut kicked off with a ribbon cutting ceremony, featuring former Devils players Ken Daneyko and Chico Resch. The viewing center featured enormous video screens and featured updated odds on sporting events for fans with mobile betting apps. Updated league-wide odds will continue to be displayed on the gigantic four story tall Prudential Center’s scoreboard, during Devils games.

In addition to having the most current gambling technology out there, several William Hill staffers stay at the ready to answer any questions or address any concerns gamblers may have while enjoying the lounge. But don’t be mistaken, the lounge isn’t your typical velvet-couch scene. The William Hill Sports Lounge is a bit unusual in that it contains no seating area for gamblers. However, this move is much more intentional than it seems at first blush.

The betting scene in New Jersey is thriving, but the state prohibits in-person cash bets. At the Prudential Center, hockey fans are able to bet from their seats while using mobile online sports betting apps. No cash exchanges hands, but customers get the fun and excitement of sports betting in real time. Advancements like this go to show why the Supreme Court overturned the outdated and unnecessary federal ban on sports betting in the first place, and gaming enthusiasts across the country are looking forward to what’s coming next.

Missouri Will Likely Require its Sportsbooks to Pay Additional Royalties

Written By: Kayla Sherrell

Missouri lawmakers appear to be intent on imposing some form of fee on licensed sportsbooks. As if gambling isn’t already expensive enough, policymakers in the Midwest are considering adding fees on sportsbooks in addition to what is already paid in taxes, application fees, and other costs. While players and bookmakers are grumbling about these new fees, they’re providing important revenue streams to Missouri’s schools and public oversight.

The Missouri Legislature Proposes a New Sports Betting Bill

Representative Cody Smith recently became the second politician in Missouri to pre-file sports betting legislation, which includes the new fees. Smith’s bill emphasizes that the royalties from this fee will be paid to public universities and used only for athletic compliance.

The sports betting bill has already been pre-filed and will include charging a 1 percent integrity fee, of total sports handle to licensed sportsbooks. Smith’s bill also includes a $5K annual administrative fee and a reinvestigation fee of $10K, which will be used every five years to perform a complete reinvestigation of the certificate holder of the establishment.

Fees Allocated to Athletes

The revenue generated from the integrity fee will be split up into two parts: 25% will be paid to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), specifically for the wagers placed on games, the other 75% will go to registered professional leagues. Sports handle estimates that around 25 percent of a typical sportsbooks’ gross revenue would cover the 1 percent fee.

There is an upside to Smith’s sports betting bill. The bill puts sportsbooks in a favorable tax situation by calling for a 6.25 percent of adjusted gross revenue, which is one-half percent lower than Nevada’s. Smith also put in his bill that the tax revenue would be recouped in education and directed toward “Gaming Proceeds and Education Fund.”

Smith’s bill is somewhat unique because it represents the first time a bill has been filed in a U.S. statehouse that specifically targets royalty payments to the NCAA. However, it remains to be seen how Missouri’s laws will function as-passed. Right now, there is a competing bill pending in the Missouri legislature that requires an integrity fee of only 0.5 percent of handle, which would be be siphoned into the ‘Entertainment Facilities Infrastructure Fund’ to build, maintain, and renovate sports or cultural facilities. This goes to show that Missouri – just like the rest of the nation – is still fleshing out it’s approach to regulating and taxing legalized sports betting.

Most States Take a Different Approach

As of the time of writing, eight states in the U.S. have officially legalized sports betting. This became possible only recently after the Supreme Court over-ruled this component of federal anti-gambling policy. However, few if any are following Missouri’s lead.

For the most part, states are competing for new gaming industries, not imposing royalty or integrity fees. Other states have also not indicated their intentions to pay the NCAA or the professional leagues any sort of fee, at least thus far. West Virginia recently rejected the idea outright, and Jim Murren, CEO of MGM Resorts International, spoke out against the notion as well.